Commodity Trade and Finance
Copper is one of the oldest metals known to mankind, and definitely the first one to be used extensively. The use of copper signalled the beginning of the progression from the Stone Age to the emergence of the first identifiable civilisations. This transitive period was named Chalcolithic Age, because of the use of both stone (λίθος) and copper (χαλκός). The first alloy ever to be manufactured also involved copper, when it was discovered that adding a small quantity of tin immensely improved copper’s durability. The next long period in human history - the Bronze Age - was named after this alloy, and trading activities often emerged because of the need to find new sources of copper and tin.